Even when Thanksgiving is a few weeks away, many stores display Christmas items - a few since the end of summer. Already, I've heard people mention "the busy holiday season" with a sense of dread.
"How can this be?" I wonder, when celebrating the coming of God's son is the best gift ever!
Here are three simple ways to combat the holiday frenzies that require only an awareness of people encountered and experiences you have - no wrapping paper, tape or bows required. Begin each day with these three thoughts:
1. How can I bless another?
2. Ask God to open your heart to receive from someone else - a stranger you talk to or even someone you see, but don't interact with. Blessings can come from others unaware.
3. See how God is revealed throughout your day in a new or unexpected way. Ask yourself before you go to sleep, "When did I feel closest to Christ?"
Write these suggestions on a piece of paper and tape it on the inside of your car, on the bathroom mirror, or in the kitchen where you can be reminded of simple ways to add a little holiness to your "to do" list for the day.
For Your Reflection:
1. What do you want to remember and hold from the holiday season?
2. How can you make your hopes happen?
Prayer: God, every year we move so quickly through a season that begs for quiet and reflection. Slow us down and open our hearts as we move toward Bethlehem. Amen.